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Shell-BG deal gets U.S. antitrust OK

Article by Jordan Blum published June 16, 2015 by The Houston Chronicle

Shell-BG deal gets U.S. antitrust OK

Federal Trade Commission decides to waive antitrust waiting period; other nations plan to examine deal

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Photo: Christophe Morin /GT

Royal Dutch Shell said Tuesday that its planned $70 billion acquisition of British gas giant BG Group has cleared its only hurdle with U.S. regulators.

The deal awaits scrutiny by other nations, but the Federal Trade Commission’s decision to waive an initial antitrust period was the only U.S. action required and the deal is still on track to close in early 2016, Shell said.

Shell CEO Ben van Beurden said Tuesday in a prepared statement that the early termination of the waiting period is a “clear demonstration of the good progress” being made.

“We’re well underway with the antitrust and regulatory filing processes in relevant jurisdictions around the world, and we’re confident that, following the usual thorough and professional review by the relevant authorities, the deal will receive the necessary approvals,” van Beurden said.

Shell Oil Co., Royal Dutch Shell’s North American arm, is based in Houston and employs more than 10,000 people in the area, according to a Houston Chronicle survey earlier this year. BG has fewer than 1,000, according to a 2011 estimate, but its name appears on a downtown skyscraper, BG Group Place.

The deal would represent one of the energy sector’s largest acquisitions in years. BG is a key player in liquefied natural gas and Shell is betting big on the future global demand for LNG.

As Shell homes in more on LNG and deep-water production, it has said it plans to sell about $30 billion in non-core properties and business units from 2016 to 2018.

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